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Amherst Ramblers split weekend MHL action

Harry Sanders of the Pictou County Weeks Crushers holds off Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers defenceman Thomas Ashe in Maritime Junior Hockey League action on Saturday at the Amherst Stadium.
Harry Sanders of the Pictou County Weeks Crushers holds off Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers defenceman Thomas Ashe in Maritime Junior Hockey League action on Saturday at the Amherst Stadium. - Dave Mathieson

AMHERST, N.S. – The injury list for the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers is starting to resemble that of a hospital ward.

Another player, Thomas Ashe, went down to injury Saturday and the Ramblers dropped a 6-0 loss to the Pictou County Weeks Crushers in Maritime Junior Hockey League action.

That followed a 6-5 win over the Grand Falls Rapids on Friday in a game which the Ramblers built up a 6-3 third period lead and then had to hang on for dear life to preserve the win.

“I think we were a little fatigued on Saturday and it showed late in the game,” Ramblers coach and GM Jeff LeBlanc said. “I think we played well enough to win on Friday, even if we were a little flat. As for last night (Saturday), I don’t think it was a 6-0 game but we just didn’t capitalize on our chances.”

On Friday, the Ramblers overcame a four-goal effort by Jean-Simon Belanger to win by a goal as Cole Waugh had two goals and an assist and Alex Lafreniere had two goals for Amherst.

Caleb Rich had a goal and two assists and Aidan McFarland scored once – his fifth goal in three games.

Alex Morawski scored the other goal for the Rapids.

On Saturday, the Ramblers fell behind 2-0 on first period goals by Andrew Burden and Jacob Hickey. Michael Fradette, Burden with his second of the game, Jaden Mason and Fradette with his second of the game scored in the third for the Crushers.

Ashe, who had just returned from a long-term injury, left the game after a third period scrum with Malcolm Genge of the Crushers and LeBlanc said he will be out of the lineup for at least a month with an upper body injury.

“When they made it 4-0 I looked up and saw seven players sitting in the stands with suits on,” LeBlanc said. “It’s a little disappointing to have that many injuries. I never been in that situation before. You usually don’t get his many injuries in a year that we’ve had in half of a year, but we’re playing our way through it and we had been playing pretty good.”

LeBlanc credited the Crushers for playing a strong defensive game and Matthew Normore for making the saves when he had to. The Crushers, he added, did a great job keeping the Rambler forwards to the outside.

As for Saturday’s game, LeBlanc said, it was one of those games that good teams sometimes have to experience. He said his club has already put it behind them and will turn its focus to next weekend when they host the first-place Yarmouth Mariners – a team they’ve beaten 6-1 on two occasions – and the Valley Wildcats,

Saturday’s game is at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s at 2 p.m. at the Amherst Stadium.

darrell.cole@amherstnews.ca

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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